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Pre-Marathon marathons

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney  March 22, 2010 09:30 AM

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Going the distanceGlobe correspondent Elizabeth Cooney is writing about the Boston Marathon in the series "Going the Distance," which appears in the Globe's G Health section. She's also training for it, and hopes you'll check in with her along the way.

A month away from the Boston Marathon, rehearsal runs are coming thick and fast. But long before that, I heard many veteran runners say, "If you can do [insert race name here], you can do Boston."

That's the beauty of being a novice: I get to soak up all sorts of advice from seasoned marathoners who to a person love to share the lessons and lore they've learned. Meeting weekly for long runs, I'd hear that someone was doing a race instead of our club's session. In February, for example, the challenges were half and full marathons in Hyannis, plus a 20-miler on Martha's Vineyard.

In March I stepped up to do Stu's 30K, a race around Wachusett Reservoir in Central Massachusetts known for the beauty and the rigor of the course. I'd been hearing, "If you can do Stu's, ..." for months. But in the next breath, I'd been warned not to leave my best run on the course by overdoing it.

My running partner and I decided we'd keep to 10-minute miles so we wouldn't burn out before Boston. We finished in 410th and 411th place, but we averaged 9:57 miles. I guess you could say we won our two-person division.

There's a 21-mile rehearsal run coming up on the Boston course. I love the idea of pounding the actual pavement before race day, but I want to be smart about it, too. If I can do that, I can do Boston.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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